Exhibition of works by Russian Artists in the Ural Mt. Region Bashkorstan. Etchings, Gouache, Water Color, Mixed Media. This is an exchange show for art sent to Russia representing Western NY scenes and artists. Sponsored by Sylvia Kleindinst and the Impact Artists Gallery.
Impact Artists Gallery. Tri-Main Center,Suite 545. 2495 Main Street. Buffalo, NY 14214
Show Dates: August 18 to September 17, 2010
Receptions: Sept. 2, Thursday from 5 to 7 PM - Sept. 16,Thursday from 5-7 PM
Raffle tickets are being sold for two large etchings. One is pictured above.
A Chinese Auction will also be held with items donated by gallery members. Drawing will be held at second reception. Russian foods served at the reception and entertainment from St. Theodore’s Russian Orthodox Church.
Long Friendship and Art Exchanges With Russian Artist and Teacher.
My friendship with Nail Vagapov started with a letter from him back in 1989. I had send some mail art to a show in Luxemburg and the names and addresses of the participants were sent to all who had entered work. Nail was looking to meet other artists in the USA and ask if I would like to write to him. Since I grew up in the cold war era and had no contact with Russians, this sounded like it would be an interesting way to finally have some more knowledge about Russian life. We began writing back and forth and sending black and white photos of our family and surroundings. Nail lived in a small apt. with his wife and son and taught at a school for children with exceptional art abilities. He was also a printmaker and worked mainly on etchings. He started to send me his prints and also suggested we might have an art exchange between our schools. I was teaching in Lancaster,NY at the time and selected works from my classes to send for a show at his school. He sent me beautiful works by his students which were displayed at the Burchfield and the Albright-Knox in the Education Dept. I was very amazed at the high quality of the art work by Russian children.
A few years later, I received more art from the Russian students, even more beautiful than the first group with many tempera paintings of Russian life and countryside. What could I send in return? I had retired now and so would have to find another source of art work to send for the exchange. This time I contacted the Seneca Nation and Gowanda High School. I was able to have many of the Native American students share their work and they also wrote about the history of some of symbolism in their art. The Russian children did a series of woodblock prints on American Indian life and seemed to have a good understanding os the charactistics of Indian culture. I displayed the works in Collins,NY at a show in the Painter Center and at the Adams Art Gallery in Dunkirk.
By now, Nail had better technology too and would send me video tapes taken at his school and the surrounding areas of the city of Sterlitamak in the province of Bashkorstan. This is in the Ural Mountain area of Russia.
We did lose touch for several years as Nail had health problems and also changed jobs. He is now a professor of art at the University of Moscow, a satellite school in Sterlitamak. We found each other again on the Internet and we are now Face book friends! Time has indeed changed our way of communication. We also talk over Skype and have video so we are able to see each other. Nail has a cat named Gynua and I get to see the cat. I show him my cat, Dusty..
Nail proposed another exchange last summer and sent me prints by 12 artists from his area. They are mostly all printmakers and have some large size works which reflect life and history of Russia. I also have a large collection of prints from Nail and these works will be displayed at the Impact Artists’ Gallery in Sept. ’10.
For the exchange sent to Russia, I decided to showcase Western New York and collected photographs and paintings by artists in Chautauqua and Erie counties.
I also sent a large number of my own photographs taken of the countryside and in the Amish country around Conowango Valley. Of course, there were some photographs of Niagara Falls, City Hall, and Chautauqua Institution and the Buffalo harbor.
The art from Western NY was shown at the University of Moscow last December.
I have pictures from the exhibit there to share with you. Also the students created many posters to advertise the show as part of one of their courses and Nail sent copies of them to me over the computer. Very interesting to see all the ways the show was presented.
Now, we will present the art from Russia and plan to include some members of the community with Russian heritage at our reception. We want to make this an opportunity to share what the artists are doing in Russia and some of their history and music too.
This has turned out to be a rich experience for us that started so long ago and we are still keeping in touch and exchanging our art and learning more about each other.
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